"I will try my best", Halep told the crowd at Court Philippe Chatrier, "and hopefully I will be better than past year". Halep took the trophy 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. In the third, as she ran away with the match, she hit five winners and made just five unforced. But she got her only one of the first set in the fourth game, and took advantage to go up 3-1.
Halep celebrated her victory in a way usually seen at Wimbledon, climbing into her box to greet friends and family. It started to pay a dividend and the Romanian forced a break point when Stephens served for the set.
Muguruza settled down in the second set, moving 2-0 ahead before Halep levelled in the eighth game.
But the 26-year-old is quite the fighter and she finally got over the line, much to her delight. Then the tide turned. She led by 5-2 in previous head-to-heads against Stephens, including the pair's past four meetings.
The momentum - and crowd, who often chanted "Simona, Simona" - was with her.
She reeled off nine straight points to lead 3-2 on serve, then broke for 4-2. And now she wants to win a Grand Slam. But at 15-15 in the subsequent game, she missed a golden opportunity for a victor down the line. But it was a different story entirely as the second set went on.
Stephens, moving silkily from side-to-side, out-Haleped Halep to move 4-1 in front, however, turning herself into a human backboard in some seemingly endless rallies. She was now decidedly superior.
The 16-year-old Tseng, who beat Australian Open champion Sebastian Korda of the United States in the semifinals, came back from a break down in the first set to claim his first Grand Slam title.
It was not to be, the powerful American running out of steam after a great start. After one error, exasperated, she slapped her thigh in frustration.
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Stephens put a tired backhand wide to hand Halep the set and there was only going to be one victor from there as Halep turned the screws to break and then move 4-0 ahead when she chased a drop shot down and was equal to Stephens' attempted lob.
Stephens, who has been serving well throughout the tournament, took the first game with a backhand victor. She had to grind for every point and I thought Sloane, you could see late in the second set, getting a little bit exhausted. She was on a long road back from foot surgery. So I did it well, and I was very strong mentally to finish that.' Is it more satisfaying to be No.
That's what happened Saturday at Roland-Garros.
That was not the case in the first though as Stephens, the first American not called Williams to reach the French Open final since Jennifer Capriati won in 2001, played flawlessly. Last year's setback no doubt helped Halep on Saturday.
Stephens will give it her best shot but Halep is the favorite for a reason.
Stephens picked up from where she left off in the second by breaking in a fantastic opening game.
She lost that second set 6-4, then the third 6-3.